At our current home, we have a showerhead in the master bathroomthat s somewhat similar to the one I loved in college. It producesabout a gallon of water per minute, which is a pretty low rate, yetit provides a great shower experience. On the other hand, a friend of mine has an extremely high-flowshowerhead. He lives in an older house, where the same showerheadhas been in use for a long time. |
He grumbled a lot about the wasted water, so eventually he wantedto test it. He got a five gallon bucket and let the shower run intothat bucket to see how long it took to fill up. It turns out thathis older showerhead was producing somewhere around 4.2 gallons perminute. So, let s run the math here. My low-flow showerhead produces 1.0gallons per minute.
His high-flow older showerhead produces 4.2gallons per minute. That means over the course of a ten minute shower, his shower is going to use32 more gallons of water than mine. What does that mean over the course of a year? Let s say we relooking at an average of two showers per day among the residents ofthe home. That s 23,360 gallons of water wasted in a year.Depending on your local water rates, that s going to be somewherearound $40-50 per year in wasted water costs.
There s another cost, too: heating that water . Let s say half of that water comes out of the hot water heater.You re going to be paying to heat 12,000 gallons of water for anaverage of 24 hours over the course of a year. Again, depending onyour home energy costs, this is going to cost you somewhere around$40 in energy costs. If you have an older showerhead, replacing that showerhead willsave you a lot of money even if you invest in a very expensive showerhead that provides agreat shower experience.
If you want to know whether you should replace your showerhead, puta gallon bucket into your shower (or a larger one with the onegallon level clearly marked). Turn your shower on, then see howlong it takes for the bucket to fill to the one gallon mark. If itfills in twenty seconds or less, then you should strongly considera new showerhead (if it fills up at the twenty second mark, yourhead is producing 3.0 gallons per minute; if it takes less time,the rate is higher). If you can easily chop a gallon per minute off of your water flowin your shower, you ll save some money by switching showerheads. Shaving one gallon per minute off of your showerhead assumingyou take one ten minute shower per day in that shower will saveyou 3,650 gallons per year, which will approximately trim $5 offyour water bill and $3-4 off your energy bill each year.
If you usethe shower more or shave more off of your flow rate, your savingswill go up far more than that.
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